New York Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur is someone Jet fans are optimistic about. LaFleur put together some incredible games as a play-caller in the second half of the 2021 season. Still, he faced lots of adversity early in the season. The Jets’ offense struggled to put a complete outing together in the year’s first six games. That being said, in those times, LaFleur proved some valuable things about himself as a leader that go beyond designing his offense.
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Taking ownership of struggles publicly
As stated, the Jets’ offense was bad throughout the first six games of the season. Things went poorly outside of two-second halves against the Carolina Panthers and Tennessee Titans. Some of the personnel offensively were not playing up to their potential. Even considering that a lot of the blame publicly from the media and fans went toward LaFleur. Nevertheless, every time LaFleur met with the media, he assessed the blame on his own shoulders. It could have been easy for him to put some of the blame on his players. He also could have stuck up for himself against the outside criticism. Ultimately, LaFleur took ownership and stayed true to the process. In the end, things ended up working out great for him.
Adapting for his rookie quarterback
As a first-time offensive coordinator, LaFleur had some experience himself to gain. Initially, he planned on calling plays on game day upstairs from the booth. However, Zach Wilson preferred LaFleur to be there with him on the sideline as a first-year quarterback. The fact that LaFleur was willing to go out of his comfort zone for his rookie signal-caller says a lot about his team-first mindset. Pile this on top of the fact that LaFleur always handled himself with professionalism publicly early in the season, it goes to show his natural leadership ability as a coach.
Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur is up in the booth calling the plays today. He had been down on the sidelines because that's where Zach Wilson wanted him.
He may never be allowed on the sidelines again.
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) October 31, 2021
Following a tough start, now, LaFleur is someone Jet fans have the utmost confidence in. He was given the nickname “Booth LaFleur” by Jets Nation last year for his success calling plays upstairs. LaFleur will be as crucial as anyone to the big year-two jump Wilson takes as a hopeful franchise quarterback.